The "It Ain't Pretty" hawk deterrent.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by The Sheriff, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    My chicken yard is 45x45 and we have hawks flying overhead all day. A few days ago a Cooper's hawk flew into the yard, right at the young chicks. Hubby and I were close enough to thwart the attempt but the hawk waited in a tree all day for another shot at it. I got online and ordered green bird netting in a roll, 100 feet long and 30 feet wide. I had it shipped overnight. We cut the length in half and draped each half over the yard meeting in the middle. We sewed the edges together with zip ties. We had to get creative around the fig tree. I think we have it pretty secure. A butterfly got in yesterday and couldn't find a way out. Hopefully the hawks understand that and just move on. The netting has an eight year warranty against UV damage as it is primarily sold to vineyards to protect the rows of grapevines from birds.

    We used a bazillion zip ties and now I have to go cut the tails off and pull the netting tighter in certain spots. It attaches directly to our deck railing on the house side. I had my fence builder install 10' lodge poles so that when they were cut off even, we could string netting and have it over 7 feet high. I also had him cement a pole in the middle to hold the netting up. We also draped the netting down the sides and connected it to the no-climb fence with zip ties. Unless a hawk finds a way the rip the netting, it is not getting in! I am not trying to protect against other predators and realize a raccoon could tear this netting. It is just here as a hawk deterrent. I am depending on the safety and security of the coop against the others. I am also counting on the people who drive too fast down the dirt and gravel road behind the chicken coop to cover the netting in dust and make it less ugly. Like I said, it ain't pretty, but neither is the sight of a poor chicken killed by a hawk.


  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Wow, that's a lot of green net. But I don't think it looks bad. I might consider it an art project.

  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Looks good. I've had bird netting over my run for 4 years now, and it works great. I also have lots of hawks, owls and etc. Never had a problem.
  4. jeannieo

    jeannieo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2008
    Collinsville, CT
    I love it and have been thinking of doing something similar but wasn't sure how to go about it so thank you! My run is completely enclosed with chicken wire and hardware cloth but I like to let the girls out during the day so they can do chicken stuff and not be stuck in a run with hard packed earth all the time. I do let them out occasionally when I'm going to be doing yard work but it's still a crap shoot. I look up in the sky every now and then and when I see the hawks hovering, I rattle the corn bucket lid and they all come running usually but there's always a couple of stragglers. The other day I was right out there in a lawn chair and a hawk swooped in really too close for comfort. I jumped up and got everyone in quickly but it's really not a guarantee that someone won't become dinner for some predator. I'm going to try your method. I don't really care what it looks like, we're out in the woods anyway and no one sees it but me and DH and the critters.
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I could live with it, no problem! Very good creative thinking.
  6. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Great job! I've had black netting over my run for 2 years now and I couldn't live without it. I really don't care what it looks like. All I know is my chickens are protected [​IMG]
  7. BigPeep

    BigPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    I have hawks too but I put up fishing tackle instead of netting. It is completely invisible. That's the idea. The hawks can't see it and when they try to swoop down they run into it and it freaks them out. I have had no loses so far and have had the chickens out in that run all year. Hawks are territorial so there will only tend to be one or two of each species in a particular area. Once you "train" them that the coop area isn't "safe" they should stay away and you will never even know something is there. (Warning: Put it up high enough so it is always above your head).

    In our area we would not be able to use the bird netting all year as the snow load would collapse it in winter. Snow is not a problem for the fishing tackle, but it can get frost on it and will droop down under the weight until it melts off. Looks pretty though.

    I also have a dog who likes to run around the yard and bark at the hawks if he sees them. That can't hurt either.
  8. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    Do you mind sharing where you got the netting from?
  9. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    It makes it look like you have grass! I bought the black deer netting from TSC. It's 7'x100' so I'll have to cut it and sew it together as you did. It was $19.99 for the roll. How much was yours?
  10. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    I got it here: at American Nettings and Fabrics. I phoned my order in and paid $78.00 for overnight shipping. The netting itself, for a 30x100 section is $119.00. I have used the fine black deer netting before but it tears easily. I have also used the uber expensive top flight netting but the rodents chewed big holes in it. It is also very difficult to handle once it becomes unrolled. I am hoping this is a good solution, at least for a season or two.

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